Category: Newsletter

January 4: The Gospel Is? – Good News To The Poor part 2

The Good News to the Poor, that Jesus declared was a central tenet of his ministry and purpose, can really be summed up with seven words: “You don’t have to be poor anymore!” Poverty is diametrically opposite to the intention of God towards human kind.

True bible Prosperity is:

The ability to use the resources of God for the benefit of all humanity. This is in the realms of 1. Spirit 2. Soul (the mind the will and the emotions) 3. Body (including divine health) 4. Financially and 5. Socially.

True prosperity is obtained in that order. Anything else is worldly and subject, as Jesus said, to: ” Rust, theft and destruction.” Matthew 6:19. Yes he said to build up that wealth in Heaven. But, he didn’t say it had to stay there. He, on more than one occasion, referred to God’s ability to make it available both on request and where you have need, by Faith.oaktree-new-england-sunrise-wallpapers-free-org

Throughout the Old and the New Testaments, that make up the Christian Bible, the principle of God causing, or enabling his people to prosper, in this life, as a result of the covenant they had with him, is a constant.

There are so many references. From Deuteronomy 8:18:

And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” (NKJV)

Psalm 23:5:

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.” (NKJV)

Malachi 3:8-12:

Do Not Rob God
“Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me!
But you say,‘In what way have we robbed You? ’
In tithes and offerings. You are cursed with a curse,
For you have robbed Me, Even this whole nation.
Bring all the tithes into the storehouse,
That there may be food in My house,
And try Me now in this,”Says the Lord of hosts,
“If I will not open for you the windows of heaven
And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, So that he will not destroy the fruit of your ground,
Nor shall the vine fail to bear fruit for you in the field,”
Says the Lord of hosts; “And all nations will call you blessed, For you will be a delightful land,” Says the Lord of hosts.” (NKJV)

All of these promises, by God, to his people, are based upon the Old Blood Covenant with Abraham and are still passed on to his descendants.

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We are informed by the writer of the Book of Hebrews, in Hebrews 8:6:

But in fact the ministry Jesus has received is as superior to theirs as the covenant of which he is mediator is superior to the old one, since the new covenant is established on better promises.” (NIV)

Since under the Old Covenant the blessings could only be received by the 197484descendants of Abraham and thereby the Children of Israel, also referred to as The Children of Promise. Under this new covenant it would appear that that promise has in fact been transferred to the Gentiles who will believe. In Galatians 3:13-14 Paul writes:

But The Messiah has redeemed us from the curse of The Written Law, and he became a curse in our place, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree,That the blessing of Abraham would be with the nations by Yeshua The Messiah, and we would receive The Promise of The Spirit by faith.” (The Aramaic bible in Plain English)

And is expounded further:

Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” (AMP)

Since God is a God who never changes it would appear that the same God who prospered the Jews under the Old Covenant, desires that his children, restored to him through the spilt blood of Jesus, as the first-begotten (firstborn) from the dead (Col 1:18) desires that, under the New and Better Covenant those who accept the Lordship of Jesus should enjoy life to the full (John 10:10).

Prosperity is kicked around in religious circles as a popular football and used as a weapon to attack this, or that Minister of God, all because of a poverty mentality that came into play under the Emperor Constantine, when the church changed from “The Way” into the Institutional and  State Sanctioned religion.

The manipulation of the poverty doctrine was a way to manipulate the people, most of whom were not scholars, or educated, in a way that would ensure their compliance. However, its similarity to the actions of the Pharisees of the Jewish religion cannot be ignored.

One of the reasons they (the Pharisees) as a group, despised Jesus, was because he continually pointed out the deficit between the people’s rights, to expect, under the Abrahamic Covenant and the lived experience under their administration of that covenant. This was particularly evident when he healed the woman bowed low, and the number of times that lepers were cleansed under his ministry.

Poverty does NOT honour God.Poor children

I can’t say it any more plainly than that. If it did then every unemployed person, every homeless person, every dependent upon welfare would be a demonstration of the wonder of the almighty  ‘god’. That’s a LIE from the very Pit, of Hell, itself.

Poor child

Tell me, do these images give glory to God?  These are some of the extremes, I know. But, this is truly the image of that Lie that has been sold to the church. This doesn’t create piety, holiness, a love for, or of God; instead it has people question why?

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One of the redemptive names of God under the Old Covenant is El Shaddai; The God of Plenty. He is MORE than ENOUGH.

Jesus teaches that the Father, in Heaven, knows what you have need of and he will meet it. Matthew 6:33

In 3John :2 he writes:

Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.” (AMP)

The preaching of the poverty gospel has been the downfall of the church; particularly in this day and age. People are more educated now than they have ever been and they don’t just take a person’s words without question.

As a result the preaching of poverty has come under attack from people who are able to see the hypocrisy of those teaching that it is better to be poor in this world and to build up riches in Heaven, for the future. While those preaching that line live in grand palaces, and accumulate great wealth, at the expense of the widowed and the homeless.

There are multi-million dollar edifices all over the world, often in some of the poorest neighbourhoods, where the poor are made to feel unwelcome and unworthy to enter, because they’re dirty, or they small bad, that are only used for a couple of hours a week; whilst, within those same towns and cities, children starve and go homeless; the custodians of that wealth using “The poor will be with you always.” (Mark 4:7) as their excuse to do nothing, yet still require the upkeep of the building to be paid for.

It is interesting to note that this is not the whole of that particular verse of scripture and that it is in fact Jesus’ response to Judas, the treasurer of his ministry, who would, only days later, betray him. Let’s look at the whole thing in context:

The Anointing at Bethany
And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply.
But Jesus said, “ Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” Mark 14:3-9 (AMP)

This is but one example of where the Word of God is manipulated to support  doctrine that has no concert with the truth of the Gospel. As a result the people are robbed and God is blamed for atrocities that are truly anathema.

poverty_giveJesus taught in Luke 6:38:

Give, and it will be given to you:good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” (AMP)

In this weeks teaching we look at the example of how the story of the Rich Young Ruler has been twisted and manipulated to say something completely different to the message and the blessings contained within it.

The Gospel is not a hard thing to grasp. But, you need to actually have the Good News of the Gospel preached for people to build Faith in it. The Gospel is Good News to the Poor.

To download this important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online. All of these messages are provided free of charge.

The Gospel Is – Good News To The Poor Part 2

December 28: The Gospel Is? – Good News To The Poor part 1

The Foundation Scripture for this series is Luke 4: 17-20 this is referring to the Prophecy of Isaiah from Isa 61:1-2 and speaks directly about the anointing which would be upon the much anticipated Messiah.

Contextually, this reading in Luke’s Gospel; this series of passages comes after Jesus was baptised in the Jordan by John, immediately anointed withSpirit Upon the Holy Spirit who descended upon him as lightly as a dove would descend. Spent 40 days and nights in the desert; was tempted by Satan himself and then he makes his way back to the Synagogue in Nazareth, as was his regular practice, on the sabbath, to be handed this particular prophecy. There are no accidents here; this is the unfolding of the Father’s plan.

We have considered the effect of the Good News to the captives; the good news to those who are in need of Salvation. But, what would the Good News, the Gospel of Peace be for those who are poor?

Matthew chapter 6 is dedicated to what is referred to as “The Sermon on The Mount”  but the reference to the “Poor in Spirit”  and the comparable reference to the “the Poor” in the prophecy of the Messiah in both Isaiah and Luke’s Gospel are not the same. Yet, “The Establishment” – The Institutional church – has religiously tied these two verses together to make its point regarding what it refers to as “The Piety of Poverty.”

IIsaiah-61n my travels around this globe I have spent time in fancy Hotels. Been the guest of government officials, performed music for them in those same fancy locations with wonderful sound equipment and alternatively I have performed those same songs, with the same backing musicians, on the same backing tracks, on a tiny portable tape player, in dark shanty huts.

On those occasions, in both locations, I had less in my wallet, than the people I was sharing and ministering to. But, at all times, in that situation, I was very aware of the source of my provision; that God is my source and he can even use the birds of the air to bring food and supplies if humans won’t be obedient to do so.

In both locations I found that the Christians there were not covetous, or withholding in any way. Their generosity was amazing. I learned that what people measure as wealth is relative to where they are. The family I had the privilege of staying with in the town of Gachie, outside of Nairobi, Kenya, owned their home, the land they grew the small crops they maintained, kept chickens and goats.

They only had electricity for part of the day; until the town’s generators were shut down for the night. But, they were happy and in their eyes they were prosperous and willing and able to share what they had. Their generosity had no bounds even to the point of killing the goat for a luncheon when we give-receive Heart crop first came to visit.

That happened without notice and in such a way that I looked around for the little kid that I had seen when we first arrived; only to find out it was on the platter in front of me.

I’ve met people, poor by western standards, who are generous to a fault. and rich people who almost fall over themselves to give. I’ve also found poor who can think of nothing more than holding tight to what little they have and their concentration is centred sole on where can they get what the other person has; to the point of theft.

Likewise I’ve met the rich who would never dream of parting with anything and will step on anyone they have to to gain more wealth; regardless of the consequences to themselves, or the people they have to step on to get there.

My own experiences with a certain ‘multi-level marketing’ company left nothing but a bitter taste in my mouth and a sadness for the perversion of the Gospel (yes, even the bible was misused to justify behaviours) for some dear, but seriously misguided, church people who were simply churned through “The System.”

The Good News for the Poor is simply that: “You Don’t Have To Be Poor Anymore!” Poverty comes in more than one guise though. But, sadly, the moment you mention poverty people’s focus goes directly to money. Similarly, when the word Prosperity is brought up, in ‘religious‘ church circles, the focus goes to wealth and riches. But, the fact is that in the case of Poverty and Prosperity they encompass so much more.

The human existence, on this planet, centres around 5 areas of experience, all at the same time:

Spirit – The Heart, The Core, or I/Me of the Person

Soul – The Mind, The Will and The Emotions

Body – Fondly referred to as Your Earth Suit

Financial – That Neutral ‘Mode of Transfer and Exchange’ required to operate within the society in which we live.

Social – The other human beings we interact with including Family, Friends, Acquaintances, Work Colleagues and Strangers.

If any one of these is out of balance it has an effect on the rest as they interact and impact one another. The Bible concept of Prosperity involves the growth and healthy development and balance of all five of these areas.

Previously, we have looked at the process by which things that make up our oaktree-new-england-sunrise-wallpapers-free-orgphysical world, or affect and/or shape the world around us originate at the invisible, the spiritual and eventually psychological level.

Therefore, if we are poor, or lacking, spiritually, we are sure to have that affecting our other experiences. We may have all the money that we could ever dream of. But, if we are spiritually lacking, we may still be unfulfilled.

Prosperity begins with the human spirit born again, spiritually alive to God and fed by the living word of God, not by dead religiosity and ‘tradition.’

To download this important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online. All of these messages are provided free of charge.

The Gospel Is – Good News To The Poor Part 1

December 24: The Birth of Jesus is The Gospel for All

Nativity-Vector

The birth of Jesus, upon the Earth, is significant in so many ways. Beyond the mythology surrounding the financial status of the Holy family, as well as many of the other ‘religious‘ trappings that manoeuvre our thinking into feeling sorry for “Little Baby Jesus,” comes the majesty and splendour of the momentous importance that this entré, into this world bodes.

With the act of ‘High Treason’ committed by God’s man, Adam, in the Garden of Eden Satan was given the Authority to ‘Lord it’ over this planet; in Ephesians, Paul refers to him as: “The god of this world.”

The dominion of the whole world, up to and including the atmosphere, was usurped. This action placed God in the position that he could not intervene in the affairs of this planet, without first gaining access by the act of will of a human being. To do otherwise would have involved the destruction of his creation, humanity; whom he loved.

As a result the Covenants made between God and Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David and on and on throughout the ages meant that God could establish and unfold the solution to the problem that he declared and prophesied over the serpent and his humans way back in the garden

Mary’s (Miriam’s) acceptance of the task, offered to her by the Angel Gabriel provided an avenue, a legitimate, legal and vital way for God himself to provide a way for the actions of that first Adam to be reversed. God would “provide himself, as a sacrifice” to restore that relationship and fellowship, personally.

As we view the nativity we cannot afford to see Jesus (He shall Save His People) in that state for long. We have to look beyond that manger, to Calvary and the fulfilment of the promise, as prophesied by Isaiah. That is the Gospel, the Good News, of the nativity.

To download this special, short, but important Spirit-Filled message, click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online. All of these messages are provided free of charge.

Christmas Eve Service

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December 21: The Gospel Is? – The Power of God For Salvation

freedom-rising-above-pain-hurt-anger

“The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity], To proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord [the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound]. ”  (Luke 4: 18-19 AMP)

The Gospel, “euaggelion” (gr); the “Good News,”  comes from the same origin as the greek euaggelízō which refers to sharing, proclaiming, or preaching, the Gospel. It literally transliterates as “gospelizing” that activity that announces the complete message of “the good news.”

This passage of scripture from Luke, read by Jesus, in the synagogue of his home town of Nazareth, is a modification of the same passage from the book of the prophet Isaiah Chapter 61 verses 1 & 2; Jesus makes it personal. He reads it in a manner that is convincing, gracious and respectful  to the message that is written.

When he handed back the scroll and sat down (a significant gesture in and of itself) his rendition of this piece of scripture, that these men had probably heard many times before, was so convincing that they were astonished. They looked and continued to look at Jesus, waiting for the next words that would come out of his mouth.

Even when he said “that’s about me!” they marvelled at how full of grace this proclamation was. They didn’t baulk at what he said. They rocked on their heels for a moment and then spoke to oner another: “Isn’t this Joseph’s Son?” They appeared to be fine with that.

It wasn’t until Jesus appeared to be comparing himself to Elijah and Elisha, two of their greatest prophets that they got angry and wanted to kill him.

leap-of-faith_724_482_80But, let’s go back to this passage for a moment. Because, it is the point in Jesus’ life where he reveals his whole purpose in being there among the people. I’ve referred to it as his ‘Mission Statement.’ He is outlining the work that he has come to do.

Acts 10:38, also written by Doctor Luke, reveals to us that Jesus actually accomplished his part of that mission; even outlining the source of the problems in the first place; the devil; Satan; Lucifer.

But, this is where it also gets interesting for us as the church; the body of Christ; in the world today. Because, as Jesus was departing this Earth, for the last time, until he eventually returns; he turned around and gave the self-same mission to the disciples, in what is fondly referred to as “The Great Commission.”

“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will follow those who believe:In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.

So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.” (Mark 16: 15-20 AMP)

And elsewhere:

“ All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt 28: 18-20 AMP)

This mission wasn’t just being given to the 72 disciples he had established by this time. But, as Matthew points out, this commission was to be passed on through a process of discipleship; this was to be an ongoing mission; their purpose of being.

Even today, that same mission hasn’t changed. The church still has the task of preaching the Gospel and as I pointed out previously, we have that samebreak_chains01 anointing upon and within us to be able to fulfil that mission. But, the key to actually doing the work of this mission is dependent on doing it in Faith.

All of these elements of this good news outlined in the prophecy can be summed up in the wonderful word that is “Salvation.” The greek word used is ‘soteria‘. Strong Bible dictionary defines this as referring to: welfare, prosperity, deliverance, preservation, salvation, safety.

This soteria has at its root the greek word ‘sozo‘ pertaining to: God’s rescue which delivers believers out of destruction and into His safety. Under the definition of deliverance, prosperity and safety two other words can safely be added to the list: Healing and Wholeness; So the word salvation contains much more than just scraping it into Heaven’s gates.

In factual of the promises that are made available through this great ‘Salvation’ actually pertain to the “Here and Now.” Through religion many of the church live and in the past have died without experiencing everything that this Salvation; this soteria can bring into their lives NOW!

This is why Paul can proclaim in the opening chapter of his letter to the Church in Rome: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.” (Rom 1:16)

Notice, he says that “The Gospel is the POWER…” The proclamation, the preaching; the announcement of everything that God can do produces the Faith that is needed for God to be able to act.

IMG_0025When Jesus could only heal one,or two people, the next thing he did was preach and teach; similarly Peter, Paul and all of the other disciples. Because as Paul points out: “Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God”; the Gospel that brings Salvation. The Good news that declares all that is soteria.

It is therefore incumbent upon us, as the Body of Christ in the Earth today to do exactly the same. We need to ensure that people get to hear the Gospel. We don’t need to terrorise them into salvation. We need to give the Hope thatGod is the same today as he was yesterday. They need to hear it enough so that Faith can arise and they can then begin their journey to experience that Great Salvation.

The Same Holy Spirit that anointed Jesus, Peter, James, Jude, John and Paul. That same Holy Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in the heart of every person who has made Jesus the Lord of their life.

I don’t mean by just saying “The Sinner’s Prayer.” That is a good start. But, those who have continued and drilled down into all that is contained in that prayer and made it real in their lives. They have been nurtured and ‘discipled’ and pastored in a way that has made Christ real to them. They have that power, that Gospel to share.

We all have the great commission on our lives. We need not be ashamed.

To download this week’s important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online. All of these messages are provided free of charge.

The Gospel Is – The Power of God For Salvation

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Praise the Lord!

Pastor Graham

December 14: The Gospel Is? – Liberty to the Captives

So He came to Nazareth, [ that Nazareth] where He had been brought up, and He entered the synagogue, as was His custom on the Sabbath day. And He stood up to read. And there was handed to Him [the roll of] the book of the prophet Isaiah. He opened (unrolled) the book and found the place where it was written,

The Spirit of the Lord [is] upon Me, because He has anointed Me [the Anointed One, the Messiah] to preach the good news (the Gospel) to the poor; He has sent Me to announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to send forth as delivered those who are oppressed [who are downtrodden, bruised, crushed, and broken down by calamity], To proclaim the accepted and acceptable year of the Lord [the day when salvation and the free favors of God profusely abound].

Then He rolled up the book and gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were gazing [attentively] at Him. And He began to speak to them:Today this Scripture has been fulfilled while you are present and hearing. And all spoke well of Him and marveled at the words of grace that came forth from His mouth; and they said, Is not this Joseph’s Son?  (Luke 4:16-22 AMP)

In this short piece of scripture Jesus provides his listeners, and us with what can effectively be called his ‘raison d’etre’, his “Mission Statement;” his purpose in being.  He is reading from the prophecy written of the Prophet Isaiah regarding the Messiah; the promise of the one who would come to deliver Israel from bondage; to ‘Liberate’ the “children of God” (Isa 61:1-2).

Encapsulated within these two passages is the essence of the Gospel, the “Good News” that we, as Christians; “little Christs”; are to proclaim to the whole world. The Gospel is not the establishment of a whole new set of laws and edicts by which people are to order their life; Jesus did not come to fulfil and accomplish the benefits of redemption and reconciliation with God, only to establish another set of commands whereby we are to struggle and fail to accomplish as we try to earn the new relationship with God.

Isaiah (Isa 10:27) also prophesied that the anointing that Jesus would have,  would in fact break the yoke that was upon our backs when we deliverance-1320x742were distanced from God. In point of fact, the burdensome relationship that many Christians experience is due to a set of religiously imposed rules and commands established by men to maintain a form of control and order over the people that they are supposed to nurture and help to maturity, In Christ. It is politics; that unfortunate malady that human beings so easily fall victim to once you get 3 or more of them in a group.

Jesus proclaimed that this was his mission; that the anointing was “Upon” him. He was the fulfilment of that prophecy. Yet, we still see sickness, poverty, as well as all the effects of a people dead to God around us.

The Great Commission, as it is referred to is for the church to be Christ to the world. For every one of us to pick up that Apostolic mission and with it, that same anointing.

You see, God has never given, any of those he has called, a task to do without also providing the wherewithal to be able to complete that task. The only key to fulfilling the mission has been to rely on, trust in and settle down in the Faith: “That he who has called, is faithful to deliver.”

Jesus referred to the Holy Spirit as his replacement; he is to take his place with us and in us because Jesus would not be here bodily. But, to be legally allowed to do anything in this world it is essential to have a body; spirits can’t just do whatever they like. In the passage where he is informing his disciples that he is going away, but he would not leave them ‘Comfortless’, he describes the attributes of the Holy Spirit; that he would be both WITH and IN you.

When we accept the Holy Spirit in His baptism (separate to Water overflowBaptism) we are Immersed (Baptismo) into Him and we invite Him to FILL US to OVERFLOWING. We are anointed with the Holy Spirit and with Power. Acts 10:38 tells us exactly what Jesus did with that same anointing.

Paul continually refers to the church as “The Body of Christ” Jesus hasn’t lost that anointing. So, even if you are the tiniest cell on the bottom of the  little toe on the foot of Christ’s body YOU have that anointing residing in You. You have GOD Living in you.

The children of Israel have a word for this very moment: “Selah;” Pause and calmly think on that for a while. I don’t know about you, but I find that even meditating on that for a couple of seconds blows my mind and gets me VERY excited.

You might very well say: “Well I don’t feel very anointed!” “I’ve prayed for people and they haven’t been healed.” Ask yourself this: If you went to a lighting store and bought a lamp and a globe to go into that lamp. Put it on a table in your house and switched it on, What would happen? Just stick with the question. Don’t go beyond the question for a moment.

Seriously! What would happen? Nothing! The Sun would go down and you’d be in darkness.

It’s like the fellow from the Back of Burke who came into the city for the first time and visited a friend in his home. It was a very hot day and the friend went over to the wall and turned a dial on a small box on the wall.

A few minutes later the whole room was cooled right down and the first fellow thought “I’ve got to get one of those for my shack. He asked his friend what it was called and he told him that it was “A Thermostat.” 

Heading back home he stopped at a hardware store and asked the assistant for a thermostat. He described it to the assistant and was brought exactly what he had asked for. He paid for it and headed home, proud as Punch.

When he eventually got home he screwed the thermostat to the  wall of his shack and was mighty proud of himself. A few days later it was 46 degrees in the shade. So, he went over to the wall and turned the dial on the thermostat and, you’ve guessed it, NOTHING happened.

Like the Lamp on your table and this fellows thermostat, unless they are plugged in to the power source and have the infrastructure built in to your home they can’t work.

You might well say: “I’ve been a Christian for years.” Without meaning to be rude, you’re a lamp; with a globe. Even if you have been plugged in to the socket; unless you throw the switch and are connected to the grid; you’ll still be a lamp, with a bulb.

The wiring that is needed is, as Paul says: “The renewing of your mind.” Like that lamp on your table. you may well know there’s supposed to be light coming from it when you switch it on. Your house may well be connected to the grid and your bill paid up. But, until you actually make the connection all you have is the POTENTIAL for light in your home.

There are hundreds of thousands of Christians out in the world who have the potential to be the Light to the world; to do the works that Jesus promised they would do and the greater works. But, unless they make the connection and apply Faith to that connection they will remain ‘potential’ freedom1Lights to the world.

Re read these passages from Isaiah and from Luke and meditate on them. think the way Jesus himself thought about what they had to say to him about his ministry and dare to step out into the fullness of the anointing that you have the ‘potential’ to access.

We are charged to bring the Gospel, the good news, that brings Liberty and Peace to the Captives. The revival that I believe is coming will require people to stand up and live to their potential.

To download this week’s important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online. All of these messages are provided free of charge.

 The Gospel Is – Liberty To The Captives

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Please consider supporting this ministry by becoming a partner in the work of this ministry by sowing your seed gift through the methods listed under our Giving menu at the top of the page. Your gift will enable the ministry to continue to be a blessing offering these messages freely each week. 

I Pray: That God bless you and your family as you sow your offering and gift and that he continues to provide for all of your needs through His riches, In Christ Jesus. Amen!

Praise the Lord!

Pastor Graham

December 07: God Gives Grace To The Humble

Humility is an attribute of the Fruit of the Spirit in the life of a believer in Jesus Christ. It is the ability to be teachable, to allow your own ideas and beliefs to be subject to and in many cases dismissed, in light of what God has actually said about you.

The Proud, often referred to as “stiff-necked,” or “hard of heart,” are humility-helpingthose who believe that their opinion is more true, or a better perspective than God’s opinion regarding a situation.

In the path to Christain discipleship, the goal of all Christians, the ability to subject your beliefs, your will and your ways to those of the master, Jesus Christ, by his Holy Spirit, is a true demonstration of humility. It doesn’t mean dressing in sack-cloth and ashes or; dragging yourself on hands and knees through broken glass; using a scourge on your flesh to purge desires; starving yourself, because you believe that that is fasting; or, for that matter, allowing sickness and disease to ravage your body, because you believe that God is teaching you something. All of these and many more have been touted, over the centuries, as demonstrations of humility.

So, 1Peter 5:5-7 tells us that: “God gives Grace to the Humble, but, he Resists the Proud.” The sense behind that word Resists is quite Stand in Aweinteresting. It means: “To clothe himself in armour to see off the Proud.” If that is the caseI think it would be important to stay on the right side of God.

I recently listened to the series “Who Cares?” by Jeremy Pearson. If you find a way to get a copy of that series I can highly recommend it. He refers to the statement made by Jesus, familiar to anyone who has hung around a church at any time in their life, on what we love to call “The Sermon on the Mount.” Jeremy hones in on the phrase used by Jesus in Chapter 6: 25-34 of Matthew’s Gospel where he says: “Do not worry about anything.” Pearson points out that this is effectively a command and that those listening to Jesus would have heard him more along the terms of: “Your Food, your clothing; stop worrying about those things. I mean Literally ‘Stop It! Just Stop It! You are worth more to the Father than the Sparrows and the Lilies.”

I think it helps to give a clearer picture of how God feels about our worrying and in many ways it speaks volumes about our level of trust in his ability to look after us. Until we get it, into our minds and our hearts, that: “He who promised is faithful to fulfil what he has promised.” (Num humility 223:19; Heb 10:23 and 1Thes 5:24) AND that as Jesus said in Matt 6: 25-34 Your Father knows what you need and He values you much more than even the birds of the air and the grass and the lilies; you will remain easy pickings for the enemy to keep you believing that God wants you poor and struggling.

(Well if you’ve been sold that bill of goods, I’ve got some shares in a coat-hanger shaped bridge in Sydney I’d like to talk to you about.)

Reading through the Old Testament and the New Testament it is very plain to see that when the people of God Trust in and rely upon him as their source they do well. It is when they start to think that they can do it in their own strength and by their own ability that they find themselves subject to sickness, disease, poverty and far from God. In the Old Testament they had usually turned back to worshiping Baal and were in bondage to strangers.

True bible humility is “Casting ALL of your care on Him (God) because he cares for you; it is trusting in and relying on Him as your source in ALL things and ALL matters. Recognising that if your Job is the conduit that God is using to bring, at least some of, your wealth to you the ability and the strength to do that originated with him in the first place; he is the Origin, the Source.

Casting your cares does not involve becoming complacent and lazy. But, it does take an act of will to stop from taking them back. Remember, that if you do take them out of God’s hands you are effectively saying: “I can’t trust that God can do anything about this, I need to get it done myself.” That, my friend, is pride.

We are told to be watchful and vigilant. In other words, we are to be actively involved in the process. But, our eyes are on God as our source. Because once we get our eyes off of God, that is where we will begin to cross-and-jubilent-arms-upliftedfind ourselves in trouble. It is only when we open wide our hearts, our minds, our wills and our hands to God, recognising that He is All that he says he is, that we will truly reach humility.

In this weeks teaching we conclude this series on the ABCs of Christian Living, with part 2 on humility. Download your copy and if you haven’t already listen to the whole series to get a better understanding of those 3 very misunderstood words in Christendom” “Faith, Righteousness and Humility” and begin to live a more victorious life here in this world.

To download this week’s important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online. All of these messages are provided free of charge.

God Gives Grace To The Humble

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

Please consider supporting this ministry by becoming a partner in the work of this ministry by sowing your seed gift through the methods listed under our Giving menu at the top of the page. Your gift will enable the ministry to continue to be a blessing offering these messages freely each week. 

I Pray: That God bless you and your family as you sow your offering and gift and that he continues to provide for all of your needs through His riches, In Christ Jesus. Amen!

Praise the Lord!

Pastor Graham

 

The Advent Wreath

Keeping Christ in Christmas

Advent Wreath

The Advent wreath is a circular garland of evergreen branches representing eternity. On that wreath, five candles are typically arranged. During the season of Advent one candle on the wreath is lit each Sunday as a part of the Advent services. Each candle represents an aspect of the spiritual preparation for the coming of the Lord, Jesus Christ.

 

At this time of year it can be so easy to get our eyes off of the one about whom the season is actually dedicated to. This is just one example of how to ensure that your Christmas is Christ focused as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ.

November 23: Humble Yourself – Let God Do The Lifting

Humility is one of those words that Christians either like to throw around as they talk about others and their response to the accolades they receive. If a person acknowledges the talent they have they are considered arrogant, or proud and heading for humiliation.

The words that usually accompany any discussion around the subject of humility in church settings include: worthless, lacking, weak, unworthy, humility-and-pride croppeduseless. Or Contrawise, arrogant, proud, tall-poppy, big-headed, self-centred and self-important.

Don’t get me wrong, some of the second list of personality traits would not impress me either; if they were true. But, here’s a point to consider. For some people true biblical humility would appear, to them, to fit into this second list. Instead they would cling firmly to some of the terms in the first list.

However, I’ve said it before, the children of God have had these models of humility preached at them from the pulpit. Told to accept loss, sickness and disease as God’s way of teaching us to be humble. As far as I’m concerned, “That’s Perverted.” We Jail parents who act that way here on Earth.

I’ll have people coming up to me saying:

“But, Pastor Graham, I know someone who was so proud, so unapproachable to anyone else in the street, never mind at church. And they got Cancer and since then they’ve changed. They’ve become so good natured; so loving and kind to people. It’s like a miracle has happened in their lives. They come to church. They are so generous with their time and their wealth. They’re like completely different people.” 

A couple of things could be at play here. Don’t be too quick to think that the outcome is a result of the tragedy. For some people, they have walked so long out of the Love of God; living in opposition to the only 2 commandments that Jesus left the church with:

“The First and Greatest commandment is this: You must love the Lord your God with all you heart, your soul and your strength. And the second, which is equal to the first, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. By these two you have fulfilled the Law and the prophets.” Matt 22:38

As a result we walk out from under the protection that our covenant with God, through Jesus, provides for us. Our body becomes subject to the enemy’s attack and diseases like Cancer find a place to grow.

So, right away, when anyone comes to me to tell me that God has given, or has put sickness, or disease, on a person to humble them, I wonder Blinded mindswhat god they’re talking about. Even Paul said that: “the god of this world has blinded the minds of the elect.” 2Cor 4:4 Jesus referred to Satan as “the Thief” (John 10:10).

The saints (all those who have been set apart, sanctified, for God; if you are In Christ, that includes you) are told to “Count it all Joy, when you fall into temptation..” (Jam 1:2) In 1Thes 5:18 we are told to: “Praise God ‘IN’ every circumstance.” Please note that it says IN every circumstance, not FOR every circumstance.

This one verse of scripture has been mangled, over the centuries, to say the complete opposite of what was intended. Members of the body of Christ (much like the woman, the daughter of Abraham, bowed low for 18 years that Jesus healed and rebuked the ruler of the synagogue for. Luke 13:11-17) have been lied to and blinded to the healing power of God for their lives.

In many cases people who get diseases like Cancer, or a diagnosis of a condition that threatens their mortality they do have a moment of epiphany. They take stock of their lives as they believe that with the time they have remaining they need to get their affairs in order.

Some become bitter and resentful. While others, stepping back, are not pleased by what they see as their legacy and they decide to make changes and adjustments to remedy the picture with the time left to them. Some of them, in both groups, have been members of a church for years, without any knowledge of, or about the healing atonement in the New Covenant. As a result, I believe, they have been robbed.

Saddest of all, is the church member, who has been led to believe that by changing their ways they can buy a way into God’s favour, something that  he has given freely. But, as a result of wrong thinking and wrong teaching on the subject of humility their false humility (PRIDE) will not allow them to accept that it is a gift of Grace and are also robbed.

True bible humility is very different to any of these images. True Humility accepts that what God has to say about you has more authority than cloudsanything you might think about yourself to the contrary. Remember, anything that would try to set itself up as a greater authority than God is motivated by PRIDE, the kind of pride that saw Lucifer lose his place among the Archangels. It is not humiliation. But, Pride will eventually produce humiliation.

Humility admits that as a human: “I am small.” But, “God is Great!” In point of fact, he is far beyond our wildest imaginations and any attempt to contain, or restrain the image of what God is or what he thinks is actually foolishness.

In the Old testament the word Fear is translated from the Hebrew word ‘yirrah‘. In some instances this Fear is associated with a dread of things either happening, or to come. But, in relation to describing God the word is better understood to mean AWE, or Reverence.

Awe, meaning to have the perspective that you are…you and that God is God, the creator of the universe and all that it contains. If that doesn’t have you falling on your face acknowledging the significance of that image, well…? The posture that is adopted in this circumstance is Humility and refers to both one’s physical posture and, or the posture of the heart, the spirit.

Reverence, in relation to God, is an attitude of both Heart and Soul. It refers to the ability to accept what God has to say about you even when all of your feelings and senses are saying something different. Wisdom and knowledge, the Proverbs tell us, are the fruit of this acceptance.

James (Jam4:10) tells us that if we seek to be lifted up by God, then we first of all have to humble ourselves to see ourselves as God sees us. While Peter, in his first letter (1Pet 5:7) tells us exactly how we commit to true humility; by understanding that all that we have and all that we need ultimately come from God, our provider and he is reminded of the lesson that he learned from the Master, Jesus, In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:33; by Casting ALL of our cares upon the Lord.

We need to renew our minds to the truth of what God has said about us. We need to adopt the mind of Christ as Paul talks about in Phil 2:5.

This week’s message is the fruit of obedience and faithfulness. Allow yourself the opportunity to consider this key ingredient to walking a successful and victorious life In Christ. Accept all that God, through Jesus Christ, has done for you and allow the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to you.

To download this week’s important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online. All of these messages are provided free of charge.

Humble Yourself – Let God Do The Lifting

 

November 16: What Can Separate Us From God’s Love

PRIDEFEST 2014Dove Rainbow 1

THANKSGIVING SERVICE

 

If there is one message that I would like to get out, into the hearts and minds of people across the globe it would be this one.

The Grace of God is an incredible thing for us mere human beings to contemplate and comprehend. In fact we do such a poor job of comprehending it that God has to use a donkey like me to shout it out.

Far too many people live their lives in the fear that they are out of the will of God. Or, live under condemnation for events that took place, in many cases years ago, in the past. They may have even gone through the Rainbow Crossprocess of confessing and asking to be forgiven. But, they have never forgiven themselves.

GLBTIQ Christians, in particular, fall victim to this condemnation from both within themselves and from without by other members of churches who enjoy the opportunity to have a scapegoat that enables them to assuage the guilt, they feel, about their own life walk; their religiously constructed measuring system for sin gives them a sense of superiority when they can compare the things they’ve done up alongside the life-walk of someone they and their friends regard as deviant.

The wonderful thing about the Grace of God is that it can even accommodate this expression of self-pride and self-importance. I am reminded of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector that Jesus Spoke of, saying:

He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves and were confident that they were righteous [that they were upright and in right standing with God] and scorned and made nothing of all the rest of men:
Two men went up into the temple [ enclosure] to pray, the one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.
The Pharisee took his stand ostentatiously and began to pray thus before and with himself:God, I thank You that I am not like the rest of men—extortioners (robbers), swindlers [unrighteous in heart and life], adulterers—or even like this tax collector here.
I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I gain.
But the tax collector, [merely] standing at a distance, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but kept striking his breast, saying, O God, be favorable (be gracious, be merciful) to me, the especially wicked sinner that I am!
I tell you, this man went down to his home justified (forgiven and made upright and in right standing with God), rather than the other man; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.   (Luke 18:9-14 AMP)

It is for this reason that I really love the book of Romans. Yes, it contains one of the most violently abused justifications for bullying, tormenting and even the killing of GLBTIQ people. Because of Romans 1:24-27 many Gay and Lesbian people have been Exorcised, demonised and marginalised from their home churches; being told they are not welcome. In some extreme cases they have even been forbidden any future contact with family members who have been instructed to shun them.

Judge-gavel-genericIt is interesting to note that only a few verses further into this letter Paul, by the Holy Spirit issues the ‘Gotcha’, by announcing that anyone who judges another, for such things, will themselves be judged with the same judgement, as if they had committed the very same acts. Paul is not commenting on the acts themselves. Rather, he is commenting on the action of usurping the role of God who is the only one with the right to pass judgement; since, as Jesus said “Only God sees the heart of a man..” (Luke 16:15 para.)

The Book of Romans is not a book of condemnation. Rather, it is an exposé of The Grace of God. In this letter, to the whole church, Paul opens up to his own struggles with sin (Rom 7:14 – 8:2 Chapter and verse is only there to help us locate these scriptures they weren’t there in the original letter). He talks about his own self accusation regarding the work of persecuting the church. That same church he has now been sent to proclaim and to promote, while still reminded of the ability of that Abundant Grace to save even one such as himself.

It is Romans 8:33-39 that is the clincher for me though. I particularly like the Amplified version of this passage because, as you read it carefully, even studiously, it reveals the very heart of God Himself. It expounds the very nature of Grace. The whole letter, to this point has described the process that the man Paul has had to undertake to renew his thinking, to be able to live with his memories and yet press on to serve Christ.

He describes the depth to which the Grace of God has penetrated his soul. Using words like “Persuaded;” “Beyond doubt” and “Sure.” The very strength, the emphasis that he puts into this passage should leave no wiggle room for the reader to think that Paul means anything less than what he is about to describe; he believes:

For I am persuaded beyond doubt (am sure) that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor things impending and threatening nor things to come, nor powers,
Nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.   (Rom 8:38-39 AMP).

Don’t allow yourself to be robbed, any further, by the insecurity; the blatant ignorance; the awful ‘hate-speech’ constructed from cherry-picked pieces, from the bible, that have been taken out of context, to be wielded as a weapon of destruction and by no means from the Love of God.

This message, from the book of Romans, so badly misunderstood, is the very Gospel that we must take and spread to the world. The Love of Jesus that we can see in action in the synoptic gospels comes alive in the church as we are able to share the simple, yet awesome truth; that NOTHING; NO THING; Absolutely NOTHING and NOBODY (or their opinion) can separate you from the LOVE OF GOD WHICH IS IN CHRIST JESUS, Our Lord!

To download this week’s important Spirit-Filled message click on the following link and save the linked file to a directory of your choice on your computer. Otherwise your browser will open up with a player to simply listen online. All of these messages are provided free of charge.

What Can Separate Us From God’s Love

♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦  ♦

Please consider becoming a part of the blessing of this ministry and sowing your seed gift through the methods listed under our Giving menu at the top of the page. Your gift will enable the ministry to continue to be a blessing offering these messages freely each week. 

I Pray: That God bless you and your family as he continues to provide for all of your needs through His riches, In Christ Jesus. Amen!

Praise the Lord!